HYDERABAD: An image of a girl crying while holding books is viral on social media. Users claim that it depicts the situation of girls in Afghanistan.
The viral image is not from Afghanistan.
The picture was taken in 2014 in northern Gaza by Fadi A. Thabet, a Gaza-based photographer. Thabet had posted the same image on Instagram. He said the photo was taken in Gaza. A part of the caption reads: "Share this photo of this little girl from Gaza Strip to send a message to the free world that the occupation is the worst of what humanity has ever produced."
Fadi Thabet in an interview explained that the viral image has been widely misrecognized as Syria, Afghanistan, or Iraq but was actually taken in Gaza in 2014. The girl's house was shelled by the Israeli army and he happened to pass nearby. He noticed that she did not run away with sandwiches or clothes despite the fear. She had carried books that drew his attention. Fadi Thabet, through the picture, wanted to portray the innocence of Gaza children during the 2014 Gaza War.
Reports by Arabic and Persian news organizations also state that the picture is of a Palestinian girl from northern Gaza.
Evidently, the viral photo was taken in Gaza in 2014. The picture has nothing to do with Afghanistan.
Thus, the claim is false.